The European Super League was collapsing on Tuesday night after all six English clubs dramatically signalled their intention to withdraw from the competition after being taken aback by the furious backlash from fans and the government.
It left the £4.5bn league dead in the water less than 48 hours after it was launched, with Chelsea the first go to followed by Manchester City and then, shortly before 11pm, by Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham.
The stunning set of U-turns leaves the reputations of the clubs’ owners at an all-time low as they attempt to repair their relationship with supporters. Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, a key architect of the planned breakaway, also resigned after his position became untenable.
While most club statements blandly acknowledged their decision, Arsenal admitted the response from fans in recent days had given them “time for further reflection and deep thought”. In a statement, the club said: “It was never our intention to cause such distress, however when the invitation to join the Super League came, while knowing there were no guarantees, we did not want to be left behind to ensure we protected Arsenal and its future.
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